Making art is a journey, a weaving of recurring themes and inspirations, unraveling layers of perception, illuminating an inner tapestry of distilled memory and images. It is to express the hidden layers of the self, and for me, to achieve a deeper sense of oneness, balance, and tranquility. I have a profound reverence for craft, for handwork of all types, as well as for the materials that offer themselves to the hands. The primary material of my work comes from the depths of the earth: porcelain, a rock from the earth, pure and delicate but strong and resilient, pliable and firm, liquid and stone. I like the simplification of this complex play of opposites, the soft and the hard, the light and the shadow, the flowing and the static, the inner and the outer, and above all, I like the continual call and response of the hand working the earth.
About the Artist
Atelier Francine del Pierre, Paris, France, 1965 - 1967
Atelier Jean Lugassy, Paris, France, 1967 - 1968
Pat Smith left her native city of Manchester, England, for Paris in the early sixties. She found her way to the Greek archaeological site of Knossos at the age of twenty and it was there that she fell in love with the art of pottery and began what would become a life-long journey into the arts. She was later introduced to her true material, porcelain, by a fellow artist and collaborator and together they explored the many possibilities of the material, including slip-casting with liquid clay and hand building delicate and ephemeral pieces which emphasized the inherent beauty of the pure white porcelain.
Pat relocated from Paris to Soho, New York, in the early eighties. She began producing delicate hand-built forms made by overlapping paper-thin strips of porcelain to form open woven forms. Their raw, torn edges evoke a primal, organic quality that is wholly reflective of her profound and resonant approach. She also began experimenting with new materials and techniques, such as watercolor and cyanotype and her porcelain work began to incorporate the expressiveness of these other mediums. Pat continued to work in porcelain, allowing these new materials to intertwine, engage and mutually inform.
The Smiths moved to Old Lyme Connecticut in the late nineties where she established a studio, in addition to spending several months of the year in Paris.
Pat's art over the years has extended beyond the making of vessels, but regardless of the material she is using, she always works with the logic of the porcelain, both in her spirit and in her hands.